Reclaiming the Common
The Paris Climate talks have ended by producing what (given expectations) is a wonderful document. Although much that will be essential for humanity to live within her means is missing, nevertheless, much is included which can be used to hold politicians to account.
It is evident that many politicians do not understand what they’ve signed to – In other words the document is fraudulent, since many have signed it as a meaningless profession of a vague political aspiration.
They need take no action before 2020 and then what action will be taken can be argued as any vested interest wishes. For instance, what is renewable energy? Burning biomass of forest and arable crops is accounted by many as a renewable activity. It is at the centre of UKs future planning. The future’s plans are very convenient because they belong to the future. Carbon capture and storage does not exist, yet it is also at the centre of UKs plans. Similarly, nuclear power stations are just a distant gleam in their progenitors’ eyes.
Economic growth has been possible by military conquest and then pillage of empire and also by a similar pillage of fossilised years (coal, oil & gas).
Without fossil fuels economic growth is possible only by pillaging the future – that is by future economic and ecologic collapse. The truth is that economic growth has caused climate change, and yet most (at least European & North American) signatories to the Paris agreement have one certainty – that European and American fossil-fuelled achievements are essential to a civilised life.
It is not unique to our times that politicians have not a thought in their pretty heads. It has been universally so throughout history.
Here’s a proposition – since politicians (& lairds, squires, lords, chieftains…) have never had a hand in the creation of cultures, why should we expect them to do so now?
The Paris Agreement remains a wonderful document and signatories can be held to what they’ve signed. However, it we who make the culture and by all the roles we play, it is we who must act. If we want even a near future, then we must utterly change how we farm, trade, manufacture and travel and we must re-consider what should always have been a perennial question – What is happiness?